We are at the start of a sea change to electric powered trucks and buses but their early adoption here depends largely on the reception they get from government and councils.
Hybrid diesel/electric trucks are relatively commonplace but fully electric trucks have yet to go into service.
They’re grabbing plenty of media attention in the general and specialist media but big fleet operators like governments are dragging their heels.
Marc Llistosella is the outgoing President and Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus and he has strong views on electric trucks especially the Aussie bound Fuso e-Canter.
The e-Canter is a light-duty electric truck that’s already used in European and U.S. cities with operators including 7-11, UPS and DHL.
NEWER VERSION ON THE WAY
The Australian version of e-Canter will be a newer version of this vehicle with the latest refinements and developments in particular a significantly longer range.
It’s due here in 2019 if everything goes to plan.
Llistosella, leaves Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus next month (March 2018) but he is on record as saying the e-Canter is ideal for inner city deliveries because of less emissions, noise and lower operating costs.
He said “The electric truck revolution is coming, we have no doubts about that.”
Taking a shot at councils and other bureaucracies, Llistosella says inner-city areas need to get serious about cleaning up their act and it will be electric trucks that will make a significant difference.
“We are already seeing cities promoting the argument for change around deliveries, emissions etc. and while we are pushing for this change we are also seeing the mayors of many cities pressuring us to deliver this alternative.”
Llistosella wants to see more cities, including Australian cities, follow the lead of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens, and start placing access bans on diesel-powered trucks.
It is not surprising that council fleets are one of the primary targets of the e-Canter in Australia.
The local Fuso truck operation is already seeing interest in the electric truck from Australian businesses.
“A lot of companies in Australia are environmentally aware and interested in showing that they’re doing the right thing.’’
“Just taking one diesel truck off the road would cut 16-tonnes of CO2 emissions, and that doesn’t include particulate and N2O emissions, so imagine the effect having even just 1000 electric trucks on the roads would make.”
Commenting on other players coming into the electric truck business, Mr Llistosella said that while it was good to see others also looking to make change, he felt that without a track record in the industry, and without established after sales networks, that these ventures might struggle to convert existing truck operators.
The Fuso e-Canter coming here will be fully electric and while an official drive range for the new ‘series-two’ truck is yet to be confirmed, it is believed to be around 200 kilometres.
FOUR TONNE PAYLOAD
The current series truck boasts a four-tonne payload and a top speed of 80km/h.
While charging time is currently around seven hours on AC, DC fast charging (for an 80 per cent charge) is around 30-45 minutes.
The new e-Canter will arrive with a revised design that will see the batteries integrated into and under the chassis, rather than mounted to the outside of the chassis.
Complementing the e-Canter is a Fuso medium-duty electric truck still in development and due to hit the roads some time in 2020. It targets applications such as refuse collection, and will be used as a bus platform.